A Journey in Other Worlds HTML version
Exploration And Excitement
When they awoke, the flowers were singing with the volume of a cathedral organ, the
chant rising from all around them, and the sun was already above the horizon. Finding a
deep natural spring, in which the water was at about blood-heat, they prepared for
breakfast by taking a bath, and then found they had brought nothing to eat.
"It was stupid of us not to think of it," said Bearwarden, "yet it will be too much out of
our way to return to the Callisto."
"We have two rifles and a gun," said Ayrault, "and have also plenty of water, and wood
for a fire. All we need is game."
"The old excuse, that it has been already shot out, cannot hold here," said Cortlandt.
"Seeing that we have neither wings nor pneumatic legs, and not knowing the advantage
given us by our rifles," added Bearwarden, "it should not be shy either. So far," he
continued, "we have seen nothing edible, though just now we should not be too
particular; but near a spring like this that kind must exist."
"The question is," said the professor, "whether the game like warm water. If we can
follow this stream till it has been on the surface for some time, or till it spreads out, we
shall doubtless find a huntsman's paradise."
"A bright idea," said Bearwarden. "Let's have our guns ready, and, as old Deepwaters
would say, keep our weather eye open."
The stream flowed off in a southeasterly direction, so that by following it they went
towards the volcanoes.
"It is hard to realize," said the professor, "that those mountains must be several hundred
miles away, for the reason that they are almost entirely above the horizon. This apparent
flatness and wide range of vision is of course the result of Jupiter's vast size. With
sufficiently keen sight, or aided by a good glass, there is no reason why one should not
see at least five hundred miles, with but a slight elevation."
"It is surprising," said Ayrault, "that in what is evidently Jupiter's Carboniferous period
the atmosphere should be so clear. Our idea has been that at that time on earth the air was
heavy and dense."
"So it was, and doubtless is here," replied Cortlandt; "but you must remember that both
those qualities would be given it by carbonic-acid gas, which is entirely invisible and
transparent. No gas that would be likely to remain in the air would interfere with sight;
water vapour is the only thing that could; and though the crust of this planet, even near
the surface, is still hot, the sun being so distant, the vapour would not be, raised much. By